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A Discursive Approach to Politeness: Negotiating Offers in Women's Talk by Saudi Arabic and British English Speakers

Almusallam, Inas Ibrahim A. (2018) A Discursive Approach to Politeness: Negotiating Offers in Women's Talk by Saudi Arabic and British English Speakers. PhD thesis, University of Leeds.

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Abstract

This study explores naturally occurring offers in Saudi and British female friendship groups by drawing on discursive approaches to politeness, particularly relational work (Locher & Watts, 2005). The study differs from previous politeness research in arguing that discursive politeness investigation should not be limited to verbal communication and qualitative analysis. It explores how non-verbal politeness, a neglected area in the field, is manifested in offer negotiations and employs quantitative analysis of some concepts of discourse analysis to identify politic patterns in offer exchanges. The data were mainly collected through recordings of natural talk among female friends in a dinner setting. Through in-depth examination of the recorded data, 143 offer exchanges were found in the SA corpus and 104 in the BE data. Follow-up interviews and scaled-response questionnaires were employed to obtain a clearer picture of individuals’ perceptions of the offers. The main results showed that the SA and BE friendship groups shared more similarities than differences in their offers. Participants did not invest much discursive work in offering, especially hospitable offers. Reoffering did not constitute a significant part in the friends’ interactions. Non-verbal offers were an essential part of managing relational work. The participants viewed politeness norms as dynamic and situated. Moreover, variability in evaluations was common. Inconsistency between participants’ actual reactions during the talk and evaluations during the interviews were also observed. Finally, this study argues that although relational work can successfully tackle the participants’ perceptions of politeness, it fails to provide a full picture of the discursive struggle over politeness as well as analytic tools to identify politic behaviour in the corpus. It is argued that Spencer-Oatey's (2000, 2002, 2005a) rapport management framework provides some concepts that help interpret what sort of rights affect the participants’ evaluations and that descriptive quantitative analysis can help in the identification of politic patterns in offers. The study succeeded in developing a more in-depth approach to the analysis of politeness.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: politeness, discursive approach to politeness, rapport management, relational work, offers, non-verbal politeness
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures (Leeds) > School of Languages Cultures and Societies (Leeds)
The University of Leeds > Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures (Leeds) > School of Languages Cultures and Societies (Leeds) > Linguistics & Phonetics (Leeds)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.770088
Depositing User: Mrs INAS ALMUSALLAM
Date Deposited: 27 Mar 2019 11:50
Last Modified: 18 Feb 2020 12:49
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/23343

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